Mission

Our department endeavors to provide rigorous, comprehensive, and science-based undergraduate programs of study that emphasize the acquisition and development of empirical reasoning, critical thinking abilities, and effective communication skills.

We are committed to providing the necessary coursework and other academic experiences appropriate for psychological science majors, with a strong emphasis on student research experiences.

Furthermore, we provide support courses for general education and other academic programs that teach students to apply empirical evidence from psychological science to important real world issues.

Goals

The instructional goals for our undergraduate programs are the following (derived in part from the goals recommended by the American Psychological Association's Task Force on Undergraduate Psychology Major Competencies):

  • Knowledge base in psychology
    We focus on teaching the major concepts, theoretical perspectives, empirical findings, and historical and contemporary trends in psychology.
  • Research methods in psychology
    We foster students' understanding and application of basic research methods in psychology, including research design, data analysis, and interpretation.
  • Critical thinking skills in psychology
    We teach students to respect and use the scientific approach, critical and creative thinking, and skeptical inquiry to solve problems related to behavior and mental processes.
  • Application of psychology
    We encourage students to understand and apply principles of psychological science to personal, social, and organizational issues. This emphasis extends to issues of personal development; we help students develop insight into their own and others' behavior and mental processes and apply effective strategies for behavior management.
  • Values in psychology
    We help students learn to weigh evidence, tolerate ambiguity, act ethically, and reflect the values underpinning psychology as a discipline.
  • Multicultural and international awareness
    We foster our students' recognition, understanding, and respect for the complexity of multicultural and international diversity.
  • Communication skills
    We help our students learn to communicate effectively in a variety of formats.
  • Information and technological literacy
    We focus on aiding students in acquiring information competence and the ability to use computers and other technology for many purposes.
  • Career Planning and Development
    We strive to help our students develop realistic ideas about how to implement their psychological knowledge, skills, and values in occupational pursuits in a variety of settings.

In addition to formal classroom instruction and student mentoring, we actively support our Psychology Club and Psi Chi chapter (international honor society in psychology) as a means of further promoting the active learning of psychological science.